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May 02, 2011

Despite US Claims That Bin Laden Was Buried In Accordance With Islamic Laws, Some Muslim Clerics Say It Wasn't Kosher

First of all, when I heard last night that the administration was going to ensure that bin Laden's body would be treated in "accordance with Islamic traditions", I was ok with that because I thought the Muslim practice for dealing with dead enemies was to drag them through thee streets and burn the bodies. At least that's the impression I get from watching TV.

Alas, it turns out the Obama administration had other ideas.

Osama bin Laden received a Muslim ceremony as he was buried at sea, a senior defense official said in Washington, D.C., May 2.

The religious rites were performed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in the North Arabian Sea and occurred within 24 hours of the terrorist leader's death, said the official.

"Preparations for at-sea [burial] began at 1:10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and were completed at 2 a.m.," said the official.

The burial followed traditional Muslim burial customs, and bin Laden's body was washed and placed in a white sheet, said the official.

"The body was placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker," the official added.

Afterward, bin Laden's body was placed onto a flat board, which was then elevated upward on one side and the body slid off into the sea.

The sharks and bottom feeders ate well last night.

Of course, not everyone was impressed by our interfaith outreach.

he head of Egypt's prestigious seat of Sunni Muslim learning, al-Azhar, condemned U.S. troops' disposal of the body of Osama bin Laden at sea on Monday as an affront to religious and human values.

Muslims set great store by interment in permanent graves on land and accept burial at sea only in cases where the body cannot be preserved intact aboard ship until it reaches shore.

"The Grand Imam, Dr Ahmed El-Tayeb, the sheikh of Al-Azhar condemned the reports, if true, of the throwing of the body of Osama bin Laden into the sea," according to a statement released by al-Azhar, which is respected around the world by many Sunni Muslims as a seat of religious learning.

The procedure "contradicts all the religious values and human norms", it said: "The Grand Imam asserted that it is forbidden in Islam to deform the dead, regardless of their beliefs. One honours the dead by burying them."

More outraged Muslim reaction here.

Thank God, er, Allah, that this bit of good will backfired and pissed off some people.

Why is the US government so desperate to show it's sensitivity to Muslims by how we deal with the bullet riddled carcase of a killer? Besides, I thought bin Laden wasn't really a Muslim (or a Muslim-Muslim as Whoopi Goldberg would say). Suddenly he has to be accorded all the rights and respect due an upstanding man of faith? That's just a bit of a contradiction. And no, don't tell me it's about not antagonizing the moderate Muslims around the world. We've done quite enough outreach from our side, thank you very much. I'm tired of walking on egg shells and fearing that if we offend some delicate sensibility of theirs (and there's always one) the practitioners of the world's most peaceful religion will explode in murderous rage.

I'm all for treating honorable combatants with honor and respect when they fall on the field of battle like men. But cowardly terrorists who hide behind women? Stuff their bodies and put them on display at The Smithsonian. You know, like Trigger the horse.


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posted by DrewM. at 05:39 PM

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